Friday, January 23, 2009

392 - The gift of prayer

Our home has been a battlefront lately. We are in a battle for our children, fighting the enemy for truth, respect and peace. I'm encouraged by the hope that we might be moving in a direction that the enemy doesn't want us to go in. Since we came back from Kansas City the Lord has shifted our focus and had us enter into a new track that involves a lot of praying. I must confess I have never been a very good pray-er. Since becoming a mom, even less so it seems. Don't misunderstand, prayer happens but not the kind I'd like to see, consistent, focused, effective prayer is what I'd like to see in my life. Truly our busy household makes it difficult to find time to hear yourself think, let alone God. I am thankful for the conversational prayer that I engage in throughout my day but I have greatly desired to have a more focused time where I can intercede. The book Prayer Saturated Kids came into my hands just this week and my spirit has been leaping up and down as I read it. EVERY parent should read that, it is practical, hands on and do-able. I love it.

Our kids were impacted by Kansas City as well, they are much more eager to pray than ever. We're seeing the fruit of this and we're happy about it. One morning we were having a very difficult time getting to a place of peace, the child causing most of the disturbance left the family circle as we stood to take a stand against the enemy, it left a hole there and so we asked for another sibling to go stand in the gap, they responded immediately. (390) On another day when our volatile son was having a meltdown outside with dad, the rest of us gathered and prayed for them, I asked them to listen to the Lord and then pray as the Lord led them, they did, it was powerful (391). On Wednesday morning Sam woke up with a really sore throat and a terrible cough, since we were heading to the city we had already made arrangements for all the kids that weren't in school and we simply didn't have a time and place for a sick kid. I prayed over him, gave him some homeopathic medicine and he was perfectly healthy by the time the bus came, in fact, he hasn't shown any signs of a cold since that time. Praise the Lord, our own little miracle to boost their faith and mine (392).

I'm just rambling this morning, hoping that you'll be encouraged to pray as I am. I want to make it my first line of defence rather than my last resort, which is what I am inclined to do far too often. I hope this will encourage you to do the same. I know the power of prayer and yet I don't tap into it, that is just stupid. Today, I will holding a prayer meeting with my kids to get rid of our mouse infestation before we have company next weekend...I'll let you know how it goes, it's all out war against the rodents here!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Gifts of the season (389)

I sat down at the computer to write because it was a quiet moment. Before I could sign in I was surrounded. I'm going to persevere because a rare and wonderful thing is happening in my kitchen this morning. My #2 son decided to make a 'fancy' breakfast for me this morning, he tried for breakfast in bed but I deterred him because I was just too grumpy to accept that offer. So now the table is set with a cloth and crystal water goblets. This volatile boy is quietly directing traffic and not reacting badly to the interruptions and infringements of his younger siblings. It's bordering on miraculous.

There are so many thoughts that I'd like to share today I'm not sure where to start.

The trip!

Colorado Springs is a beautiful piece of God's creation - red rocks, plains, mountains, trees, snow and warm weather!
Compassion International
New Life Church (huge but a beautiful service)
Focus on the Family
Sasha's delight in his birthday party
Garden of the Gods - a wonderful drive or walk-through place created by God for us to marvel at - huge rock formations jutting out of the ground in random patterns.
The nice neighbors that gave us buckets of water for our last night in the cabin when we ran out of water.
We ran out only on the last night AFTER the washing machine had finished the rinse cycle.
Kaleidoscope - a neat little place that Hallmark Cards created for families to come and enjoy 45 minutes of unstructured free-for-all creativity with all their stuff - glow in the dark markers, melted crayon pictures, black light, puzzle makers, all kinds of ribbon, paper, shapes all in a kid-friendly environment - at no cost!!
International House of Prayer in Kansas City Missouri - they put on a conference called ONE THING at no cost to any registrant - there were 16,000 people there.
They took offerings for the poor, their costs were completely covered by the second night of the conference so they gave away a whole pile more, because they could.
Their philosophy of copyright is the right to copy, they just want the word of God to go forth with profit, all their teaching notes are there for our use.
Ministry to the children during the conference - for $30/child they were engaged in training at their level for each of the main sessions - if we had wanted to they could have been in there for 27 hours of training - not a bad deal I'd say!
Sasha and Elizabeth were too young to participate in the chilren's equipping time so they were with us and they did so amazingly well - that was a real gift.
Color Wonder - a gift to the parent of church-going toddlers.
God's safety as we travelled, an accident occurred right in front of us in the middle of the night, no one was injured, we just knew that our angelic host was right there with us - a benefit of having a big family - lots of angels!!
Minimal fighting and crankiness in the van as we travelled.
Hundereds of sweet memories to last us a lifetime.
Kelly's mom and dad invited us over on Sunday for the afternoon, what a lovely time, just enjoying each other's company and watching the cousins play.
A warm welcome home by our church family.
The amazing diversity in the family of God that calls us and trains us to do such different things.
The worship leaders at the conference were so good at taking us into the throne room, we brought two CDs back with us that lift us to the high place!
Wonderful hotel staff that always seemed friendly - even in the middle of the night.
The warm community of ladies that work together to make quilts for the less fortunate that I am blessed to be a part of - we had such a lovely time this week.
Hand-written letters from friends you haven't talked to in awhile. I got 2 of those this season and they moved my heart that was such a gift.
All of the other cards and letters that were sent were certainly a gift as well, so many pictures and accounts of God's blessing through the year - we are truly blessed to be on the receiving end of such wonderful friends. (Especially when we haven't sent out a single one this year!!)
Mornings when our little one wakes up with a dry diaper. That is happening more and more often, we are getting awfully close to no more diapers at all!!
Fun flannels that are being made into jammies for that same little girl.
Okay, last one for today (389) my omelet is ready and I am being called to the table. The rest will wait for another day.

The trip was fabulous, we weren't even anxious to get it over with! I am convinced that the best things about this trip were definately the free ones. They were gifts and I think I will list them as such...